We are not just a bead store – we are also a lampworking studio where you can actually make glass beads! In a nutshell, lampworking, (or torchworking or flameworking or wound glass) is the term for hand-making glass beads by winding molten glass onto a stainless steel rod, one fabulous colour at a time, and then slowly cooling the beads to room temperature. This ancient way of making glass beads is thousands of years old, and is truly an awesome experience, to do or see.
Lampwork Studio – Rental
We rent torch time. For safety reasons, studio time is available only to those who have had at least one lampworking class. If you have never worked with glass or a torch we require that you enroll in a lampworking class or take a private lesson.
Your first session will be monitored to ensure that you are comfortable, using the equipment safely, and will treat the equipment with care.
Someone with some lampworking experience is generally on site to assist and troubleshoot if you have any questions.
To book a class or studio time, or for more information, please call 416.751.1911 in Toronto, or toll free 1-877-473-BEAD (2323) and we will be happy to help!
Torches & Available Equipment
We currently have 8 available workstations. All our torches are Nortel torches running on Natural gas and tanked oxygen. (The booster is located outside the studio for noise abatement.)
- 6 workstations equipped with a Minor or Mega Minor Bench Burner (All torches have a torch-mounted marver)
- 2 with a Mid-Range Plus (top mounted Mega Minor). The top-mounted torch can be used by itself as a regular torch.
In addition – we have a sandblasting unit and a JoolTool(tm) for cold working glass – these are included with the studio rental.
We have a wide selection of specialty graphite marvers and brass presses as well.
Use of Dididyium safety glasses, and basic tools (marver, paddle, tweezers, frit tray, mashers, rod rest, etc.) are included in the price, along with pre-dipped mandrels. You are welcome to bring additional tools that you like to use. We recommend labeling them or putting some sort of identifying mark on them.
We provide shared kilns for annealing. In order to get your own beads returned to you, you will need to mark the mandrels with a wrap of coloured glass at the end of the mandrel and record the colour used on the calendar. (Just ask about this if you are unclear. Also remember to ask what other colours are being used that day – it’s not very helpful if two people mark with the same colour!) Your beads will be pulled and put into a container for you to pick up the next time you are in.
Minor Burner or Mega Minor
A Studio Card: a block of 10 hours can be purchased for $130.00 ($115.04 + $14.96 HST). Every tenth card you buy is 1/2 price. Time can be used in increments as small as 15 mins.
or – By the hour, $20.00 per hour ($17.70 + $2.30 HST)
a Studio Card: a block of 5 hours can be purchased for $125.00. ($110.62) Every tenth card you buy is 1/2 price. Time can be used in increments as small as 15 mins.
or – By the hour, $30.00 per hour ($26.55 before taxes)- (This is an excellent way to “test drive” one before committing to purchasing)
The Minor and Mega Minor are the workhorses of the beadmaker/lampworker. The Mid-range is a larger torch – appropriate for boro, large soft glass, and more experienced users.
This includes torch time, pre-dipped mandrels, use of the basic tool kit and safety glasses, and kiln time for annealing your lampwork beads.
We are primarily a soft-glass (CoE 104) studio. However, if you wish to bring in other CoE’s – we ask only that you be scrupulous about keeping your glass separate and not discard short rod ends in with the other 104 ends.
Borosilicate glass in the studio.
Boro workers can book in advance (24 hours notice is required) and a separate kiln will be programmed for annealing/garaging and Boro workers will have a choice of Mega or Midrange Torch. (If you have specific colour-related requirements for the kiln program – please give us 24 hours notice.)
Mega – Boro torch time is $20 per hour, or $90 for a 5-hour card.
The Midrange torch (which is a much larger and faster torch) is $30 per hour, or $125 for a 5-hour card (for either Boro or Soft glass)
Happy Hour Torching!
Two Hours for the price of One!
Happy Hour is every Monday, from 5 pm to 9 pm, and gets you two hours of torching for the price of one.?(Yes – this is after store closing hours.) Happy Hour Torching is hosted by an experienced lampworker who can answer your questions. Carol Cooper is our hostess with the mostess. Dwyn “DragonJools” Tomlinson may also be in the studio.
This is excellent for beginners and novices – as you can ask casual questions without needing to take a class, plus learn from the general atmosphere of hanging out with more experienced people. More experienced lampworkers will enjoy the camaraderie and exchange of ideas that come from torching in a shared environment.
Please call ahead (416 751-1911) or email to book space.
Happy Hour Torching is for soft glass only. Class practice cards do not qualify for the Happy Hour Discount.
Glass is available for purchase or you can bring your own. We recommend Nortel Mfg as a source for your glass and other lampworking needs.
We stock a selection of 104 CoE glass: Effetre (Moretti) and CiM, which is available for by the rod. Specialized tools and materials are available through special order. You are also welcome to bring your own glass and other tools. Many of our regular lampworkers store their glass with us to save schlepping it back and forth. 😉 You can place an order with Nortel and arrange to pick it up from us.
The glass studio is open during our regular business hours. It is advisable to call ahead to reserve space as our studio can be busy. (416.751.1911)
We endeavor to provide a safe and comfortable working environment.
We ask that you:
- treat our equipment with respect (don’t go breakin’ stuff! Fess up if you have an accident!)
- treat other lampworkers in the studio with respect (don’t hog all the equipment!)
- Your beads will be pulled off the mandrels for you and set aside, labeled for you to pick up next time you are in. (If you are from out of town and unable to return – we will mail your beads to you.)
You may store glass and/or tools with us so you don’t have to schlep them back and forth. No responsibility will be assumed for stored items.
Please bring a compact toolbox for this. It must be labeled with your name and phone number. Glass and tools stored for longer than 90 days without your coming in to torch may be considered abandoned and disposed of accordingly (Just like your dry-cleaning)
To book a class or studio time, or for more information, email or call 416.751.1911 in Toronto, or toll free 1 877 473-BEAD (2323) and we will be happy to help!